UV rays and the ‘reflect effect’: the importance of sun protection all year round
Contrary to what many of us believe, summer isn’t the only time of year when we need to protect against UVs. Find out why it’s important to protect your skin from UV damage - 365 days a year.
UV rays: just because you can’t see them, doesn’t mean they’re not there!
That’s right, folks: whether it’s sunny, rainy or snowed under, UV rays are present all year round - and we’ve got the science to prove it. Did you know that even on cloudy days up to 95% of all rays still manage to reach the earth’s surface? Or that even in winter, snow can reflect up to 85% of sunlight, potentially damaging your skin a second time around? Stress caused by overexposure to UVA and UVB rays accounts for up to 80% of visible aging, provoking free radicals to ‘steal’ molecules beneath the skin, thereby depleting collagen levels - and that’s before we even start discussing sun spots, hyperpigmentation and skin cancer. It’s important, therefore, to be on guard against the damage long UVA rays can do all year round if we want to make sure our skin’s future stays as bright as possible.
 Robert Kandel, directeur de recherche honoraire du CNRS, Laboratoire de météorologie dynamique (LMD/IPSL), Palaiseau.
 Effect of the sun on visible clinical signs of aging in caucasin skin. F. Flament and al. Clinical, Cosmetic and investigational Dermatol. 2013
Protecting your skin all year round
It goes without saying that we should be wearing SPF and PPD (UVA protection), all year round, but those of us heading off on ski holidays this winter should take extra precautions. Remember: not only does snow reflect sunlight as mentioned above, but UV rays’ strength is magnified at higher altitudes, increasing the damaging effects they can have on skin. To keep skin hydrated in colder climates, opt for a facial moisturizer enriched with Vichy Mineralizing Water, which has been shown to improve skin’s response to all forms of oxidative stress by up to 20%. For particularly sensitive areas, such as the cheeks, lips and nose, consider a stick or balm enriched with SPF and long UVA protection - ideal if you’re spending your vacation in the mountains, where higher altitude and increased wind speeds can irritate delicate skin.
Of course, updating your skincare routine to take into account summer’s extended daylight hours is crucial when trying to preserve your skin from UV damage in summer. Idéal Soleil’s Fresh Face Mist SPF 50’s non-greasy finish makes it ideal for slipping in your handbag while out and about during summer, while its high SPF protects from oxidative stress caused by UV rays. What’s more, the product’s hydrating formulation features Vichy’s iconic Mineralizing Water, for a refreshing pick-me-up that does your skin some serious good.
 In vivo test, 24 subjects aged 30-50: Vichy Mineralizing Water’s catalase activity increased by 20% (twice-daily application over 4 days).